Abstract Title:

Myocarditis, pericarditis, and dilated cardiomyopathy after smallpox vaccination among civilians in the United States, January-October 2003.

Abstract Source:

Clin Infect Dis. 2008 Mar 15;46 Suppl 3:S242-50. PMID: 18284365

Abstract Author(s):

Juliette Morgan, Martha H Roper, Laurence Sperling, Richard A Schieber, James D Heffelfinger, Christine G Casey, Jacqueline W Miller, Scott Santibanez, Barbara Herwaldt, Paige Hightower, Pedro L Moro, Beth F Hibbs, Nancy H Levine, Louisa E Chapman, John Iskander, J Michael Lane, Melinda Wharton, Gina T Mootrey, David L Swerdlow

Article Affiliation:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and 2Department of Cardiology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.


Myocarditis was reported after smallpox vaccination in Europe and Australia, but no association had been reported with the US vaccine. We conducted surveillance to describe and determine the frequency of myocarditis and/or pericarditis (myo/pericarditis) among civilians vaccinated during the US smallpox vaccination program between January and October 2003. We developed surveillance case definitions for myocarditis, pericarditis, and dilated cardiomyopathy after smallpox vaccination. We identified 21 myo/pericarditis cases among 37,901 vaccinees (5.5 per 10,000); 18 (86%) were revacinees, 14 (67%) were women, and the median age was 48 years (range, 25-70 years). The median time from vaccination to onset of symptoms was 11 days (range, 2-42 days). Myo/pericarditis severity was mild, with no fatalities, although 9 patients (43%) were hospitalized. Three additional vaccinees were found to have dilated cardiomyopathy, recognized within 3 months after vaccination. We describe an association between smallpox vaccination, using the US vaccinia strain, and myo/pericarditis among civilians.

Study Type : Human Study

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